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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

University of Southampton Podiatry student joins forces with The Clinton Foundation and The College of Podiatry Trust to develop a vital educational project

Published: 27 July 2023
Development of a repository
Development of a repository of images of diverse skin tones

A University of Southampton (UoS) podiatry student, aided by a grant from The College of Podiatry Trust, travelled to the USA to work with The Clinton Foundation’s Global Initiative University to develop an important educational resource about skin tones.

Monique Cleary, a second-year undergraduate student, has developed the Podiatry Inclusive Image Collection (PIIC) project; a resource that intends to correct the lack of diverse images of dermatological disorders in podiatry educational materials. The need for the project originated on the RCPod's Education, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Task and Finish group.

Monique developed the spark of the idea whilst on 150 Leaders, The Council of Deans’ healthcare student leadership programme . When the UoS invited her to apply for a place at The Clinton Foundation’s Global Initiative University to develop her idea further, she grabbed the opportunity. The College of Podiatry Trust then awarded a grant for Monique to travel to Nashville, USA, in March 2023 to take part in the programme.

Monique Cleary

PICC is now in development, and it is hoped will eventually include a repository of long term and acute skin conditions presenting in people with a range of skin tones. The long-term ambition is that the resource will:

  • Help podiatrists distinguish how different conditions present on people with differing skin tone
  • Help educators include a range of skin tones within educational resources.

Speaking about the project and her experience at the Clinton Global Initiative University, Monique Cleary said:

“I want PICC to have a revolutionary impact on podiatric education and become a wider learning tool for all healthcare workers. It’s about making it easy for people to diagnose conditions presenting in different skin tones, but it’s also about helping our educators to use and show a range of skin tones in their teaching.

“Working with The Clinton Foundation was such a motivating and engaging experience. It was like being at a live podcast for three days, getting information constantly about how you can make effective change. Hearing Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton speak multiple times was truly inspirational – I’m such a normal person and to be able to have that experience is amazing. I’ve learned that ideas don’t start fully formed. It’s one small idea after another that creates change. I’d love to be invited back one day to talk about my experience as an alumni. I’m grateful to Dr Lyndsey Cherry at the University of Southampton for her support, and to Dr Paul Chadwick and The College of Podiatry Trust for this opportunity for me to enhance my education and practice.”

Professor Stuart Baird, Chairman of The College of Podiatry Trust, said:

“Stories like Monique’s are why this fund exists. It’s not just about the College giving something back to the profession, it’s designed to encourage great ideas, innovative thinking and tools that will make a real difference to podiatry, how it’s taught and how it’s practised. We are now looking forward to making our next grant for other worthy causes”.

The Clinton Foundation is continuing to mentor Monique and will support her and her idea until October 2023. The project is also now receiving further support through the University of Southampton Foundership Grant Scheme . Monique is currently preparing a website to launch the first version of the PICC in Autumn 2023.

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